Aug 03
Great Place to Grow
Great Place to Grow
Invigorated by Great Place to Work certification, L&T is taking several new steps to enhance employee experience
Earlier this year, L&T won the coveted certification from the Great Place to Work Institute (GPTW) as a ‘great place to work for’ in India. GPTW also recognised L&T as one of India’s Best Employers Among Nation-Builders, while its verticals L&T Construction and L&T Realty have been conferred special recognition as Best Workplaces in Construction & Infrastructure and Best Workplaces in Real Estate segments, respectively.
Then in May, The Economic Times’ Future-Ready Organisations Awards recognised L&T as a Future-Ready organisation. This prestigious honour is based on the key elements of clarity of purpose and direction, human capital, technology adoption, and ESG.

L&T has also recently been recognised by Marksmen Daily as ‘Most Preferred Workplace 2023-24’ and its efforts towards diversity, equity & inclusion (DEI) were recognised by ET Future Skills with an award in the Diversity & Inclusion Learning initiatives category.

To talk about these achievements and L&T’s latest HR initiatives, Bappaditya Paul recently caught up with the EVP & Head of Corporate HR at L&T, Dr C Jayakumar, in a freewheeling interview. Here are the excerpts.

Q: I believe this is the first time that L&T has earned GPTW certification?

A: Yes, that’s true. Although we had participated in the GPTW survey in 2018, this is the first time that we have earned the coveted certification. More importantly, out of the 56,000-odd employees that we have in L&T (excluding the Group companies), an overwhelming 42,000+ employees participated in the survey.

Q: Why is this recognition so significant?

A: So far as employee satisfaction is concerned, GPTW certification is considered the gold standard not only in India but across the world. It’s a robust process, where a whopping 75% score is earmarked for employee feedback.

Therefore, the certification is a validation of L&T’s culture and values that all of us have been nourishing for the past eight decades. It recognises our focus on meritocracy in recruitment processes, talent development, learning & development initiatives, total rewards practices and employee experience.

The exercise also gave us an opportunity to lend an ear to the voice of the employees and has provided invaluable insights into the ways to enhance employee experience. Taking a cue from that, we are now devising an action plan.

 Q: Of the several L&T verticals, which are the high scorers in the GPTW survey?

A: All our verticals have more or less fared well, that is how L&T as an organisation got certified. But the ones that have done better are L&T Realty, Transportation Infrastructure, Construction & Industrial Machinery & Products, Power, Buildings & Factories, and Water & Effluent Treatment.

 Q: You referred to an action plan for further improvement. Which specific areas are you focusing on?

A: Employee performance management and a transparent feedback mechanism are on top of our agenda. In collaboration with EY, we have started workshops on performance planning and goal-cascading for HR and people managers. This train-the-trainer initiative will see those who have been trained become master trainers for others in their vertical.

 Q: Any other major steps that you are taking in this context?

A: On a pilot basis, we are introducing a 270-degree People Excellence Framework wherein a managerial employee will be able to rate himself/herself and also obtain feedback from his/her manager, superiors, peers and subordinates on five parameters – personal excellence, people relationship excellence, performance management excellence, people development excellence, and people leadership excellence. The feedback will be used by the managerial employees for formulating their self-development plans and for creating a high-performance culture.

 Q: L&T is known as a learning company and a knowledge powerhouse. Are you taking any new initiative to boost this further?

A: In recent years, we have considerably invested in digital learning and today we have the world’s best learning platforms - such as Coursera, Skillsoft and ATL - for our employees. These help them to learn at their own pace and from any location.

To enhance the learning experience of our employees, we have created comprehensive hybrid learning programmes. These programmes seamlessly combine digital learning elements with our traditional training initiatives, serving as pre-reading materials or post-learning reinforcements. This integration ensures a more effective and well-rounded learning journey for our employees.

In addition to all the learning centres that L&T has, we run a flagship Seven-Step Leadership Development Programme – an established best practice for talent development that provides managerial inputs to high-potential employees.

We have recently undertaken a major organisational development (OD) initiative on the 6D framework, that is, define, discover, dream, drench, design and deliver. As part of this, our vertical-specific HRs are tying up with seasoned OD experts to impart customised training to our employees at different levels.

 Q: You have been in L&T’s HR function for 35 years now. Do you see any remarkable change in the overall characteristics of talent over the years?

A: I do. Employees these days demand flexibility in terms of location, work hours, and job roles. Their aspirations are very high, and they want meaning and purpose in what they do. They want to move up fast and become restless if they remain stuck in one role and at one level for too long.

 Q: How does L&T meet the expectations of such new talent?

A: We are predominantly present in the engineering, procurement, construction and manufacturing industry sectors, and our focus has been on creating an employee value proposition that meets the expectations of today’s talent and aligns with our organisational objectives.

We are proud to be the nation builders which gives immense pride and purpose to each one of us at L&T. Our contribution to the nation is unparalleled, and we look forward to many more milestones of building our country.

Our people are provided various challenging opportunities and they get to work in projects of varied sizes and complexities – both in India and abroad.

I mentioned earlier about the array of learning opportunities available to our people. With 17-18 in-house training facilities and numerous training modules run in collaboration with reputed institutions, we provide unparalleled learning opportunities.

We take pride in the fact that 80% of our leadership talent is homegrown, with a longevity exceeding three decades, and they have rich domain knowledge on executing large and complex projects.

Under the leadership of our CEO & MD Mr SN Subrahmanyan, we embarked on a digital journey many years ago. Name any new-age technology – such as AI, AR, VR, 3D Printing – and L&T employees get to apply them in real-life projects much, much before their peers elsewhere.

Would like to add that many of our people- related processes today have been digitalised with the help of latest technologies.

Given the context, we want to focus more on our people policies and practices as a strength, but policies such as work-from-home may be a difficult proposition for us. However, some of our businesses are considering opening offices in Tier-2 cities, thus enabling the employees to work closer to their hometowns.

 Q: What is L&T’s primary hiring source and what type of talent are in demand for you right now?

A: We go for both freshers and lateral entrants, but the bulk of our hiring is from campuses. It constitutes around 50-55% of all hirings. We have recently launched several new- age businesses – like data centre, edtech, B2B e-commerce, electrolyser and battery manufacturing – and they will see a lot of lateral hirings.

 Q: DEI at the workplace has become a characteristic of progressive organisations. Where does L&T stand on this?

A: Absolutely, and we have been taking committed efforts since the past few years which have resulted in a consistent increase of women in L&T’s workforce. I am happy to share that women now constitute 8.37% of our workforce. Two years ago, it was around 6%. Our target is to make it 10% by FY26.

This initiative is directly driven by our CEO & MD and other senior leaders who have supported the rolling out of enabling initiatives for women employees, such as WFH in the last trimester of pregnancy, not downgrading performance rating during maternity leave, and re-onboarding women employees following a break.

In terms of other diversity parameters, L&T is one of the few organisations to have multiple generations working together. Our employees represent 56 nationalities and 85 languages.

As part of our HR Lakshya Programme, an exclusive task force is working on DEI, ably guided by a steering committee comprising Mr R Shankar Raman (CFO), Mr Anup Sahay (Head – Corporate Strategy & Special Initiatives), Mr Ramkishore S (Head HR – Heavy Civil Infrastructure) and myself.

 Q: L&T has several subsidiary companies. Do you have any HR mechanism for better synergy with them?

A: We have an HR Council that meets at regular intervals and discusses best practices. The Council also devises business-specific as well as overarching action plans in alignment with L&T Group’s business interests. We also leverage our scale of operations and businesses to bring in the best experience and practices for our people across various processes, such as training, learning and social platforms.


There are no comments for this post.